New York Photo Review
Volume 3 Issue 20 May 30 to June 5, 2012

Dirk Braeckman and Bill Henson
In Praise of Shadows
Reviewer #1
Bill Henson, Untitled, 1998/1999/2000

Robert Miller Gallery is presenting what might best be described as a chiaroscuro championship match. Hailing from New South Wales, and weighing in at $30,000 with 6 foot color images is Bill Henson. Then intermingled with these pictures, and weighing in at $10,000 to $20,000 are the just as big, but black and white, silver-gelatin prints of Dirk Braeckman of Belgium.

Both photographers are fond of darkened spaces. Henson is more drawn to figures emerging from a dark amorphous scene (rather like Caravaggio, as the press materials helpfully point out.) Braeckman is more fond of odd, dimly-lit spaces, usually without direct human presences. Both photographers do crossover occasionally to the other’s specialty, and they both seem to be regular visitors to the same part of town – Desolation Row.

 by unidentified photographer.
Dirk Braeckman, E.V.-L.O.-97-07

Henson’s pictures are the more engaging. Most are portraits of young, perhaps teenaged models. Vulnerable looking, skimpily dressed, one does wish the best for them, like maybe their next gig will be for a more upscale fashion shoot. Braeckman’s scenes are harder to get a handle on. He seems like the kind of guy who spends long periods of time staring at the walls at half-trendy clubs and hotels, before bringing out his camera to capture the image.

Taken together (and forgetting the insufferable pretentiousness the show exudes) this exhibit is just the thing if the spring weather is making you feel just a little too cheery.

Dirk Braeckman and Bill Henson
In Praise of Shadows

Robert Miller
524 W 26th St. Ground Fl
Chelsea         Map

212 242 7727

Thursday, April 8 to
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10 to 6